At the Raku Firing
beside a makeshift kiln
we circle one another, waiting
for the incandescent forms
to be pulled with tongs, birthed
like that, into open air.
A late September moon marks time
through the beech tree’s brittle leaves
and each pot brought forth is a molten moon,
a source of sudden combustion
to be smothered in sawdust or woodchips
that burst into smoke and flame.
Later, with woodsmoke lacing my clothes,
I come home, hand him the newmade bowl,
and he, drawn by moonlight, steps outside, alone.
I go to bed, am tired, have already been
out in the moon—and when he returns,
with his moon-cool touch, at first
I say I don’t want him: sleep
seems more luscious than sex—
but something about the bowl—
the way I glazed and drew it glowing
from the kiln, crouched there
and hoped for the colors to turn,
the outer wall iridescent,
the interior crackled, white,
with dark lines holding the smoke—
There’s a moon in the bowl, white
in the well and I am a well
I am looking down into
moonlight reflected, contained
in a glaze, selected
from vats of possibility:
the wrist swirls quickly,
fingers holding the bwol
by the bottom—a swift twist
coast the inner surfaces.
Who knows what fire will do?
I’m lucky, get what I want—
that violet sheen,
those greens and reds—fiery, metallic.